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Health Care Providers and Issues of Quality, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 602

Research Paper

In the modern health care system, there are several barriers that result in deficiencies to patient access, service quality, and patient satisfaction. In response to these concerns, health care providers need to implement changes that can help the public to overcome the related challenges. The Quality Function Deployment (QFD) approach to problem solving can provide some insight into the threats as they are experienced by the potential users of the health care system. The philosophy that supports QFD emphasizes the importance of interfacing consumer demand with quality outputs. In this case, the design and delivery of health care services should be directly related to the needs of patients. This approach can be used to design changes to the existing health care system at the provider level that are likely to result in an improvement to service access conditions, the quality of health care, and the satisfaction of experiences as felt by patients.

QFD would be useful in making improvements to mobile health care services, thereby addressing social, economic, and geographical barriers to patient access. People with biological limitations (advanced age, disabilities, etc.) would also surely benefit from the optimization of mobile health services. The QFD approach has been successfully applied to other mobile services (Zheng & Pulli, 2012), demonstrating that a consumer demand focused model can be appropriate in such situations. Health care is an industry where customer outcomes are of specific concern, and limited access to services has undoubtedly resulted in negative consequences for many potential beneficiaries. Of course, mobile health care can only be as efficient if other financial barriers are removed for much of the population, but the evaluation of this system using QFD will likely result in some improvement, regardless of monetary restrictions.

The quality of health care services is extremely important in the overall function of the industry. Positive patient outcomes are good business, and maximizing the quality of services is key to assuring the highest possibility of such results. There are many subsystems of health care that contribute to the overall quality of services, and the implementation of a QFD inspired intervention at any of these levels would likely result in an improvement to this indicator. For example, a study found that this method resulted in improved quality of service throughout an intensive care unit (Dey, Hariharan, & Ho, 2009). The development of a framework that integrates the patient’s perspective with quality service delivery is not limited to specialized wards, and have the potential to improve care through a variety of channels.

Access and quality improvements to health services are closely related to patient satisfaction. With some exceptions (usually connected to unrealistic outcomes), the perception of patient health care experiences can be an approximate measure of the quality of services they received (Gremyr & Raharjo, 2013). QFD is based almost entirely on integrating consumer perspectives with industry outputs, and improving the satisfaction of patients is very clearly connected to their individual perspectives. Like quality and access interventions, the implementation of a QFD design at virtually any level of health care service can ultimately result in improved patient satisfaction. Practitioners on the front lines of delivery could, for example, obtain patient feedback on a QFD framework to facilitate the determination of consumer demand.

References

Dey, P. K., Hariharan, S., & Ho, W. (2009). Innovation in healthcare services: a customer- focused approach. International journal of innovation and learning, 6(4), 387-405.

Gremyr, I., & Raharjo, H. (2013). Quality function deployment in healthcare: a literature review and case study. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 26(2), 135-146.

Zheng, X., & Pulli, P. (2012). Improving mobile services design: a QFD approach. Computing and Informatics, 26(4), 369-381.

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